DOMENICO DI BARTOLO
(b. ca. 1400, Asciano, d. ca. 1447, Siena)
Madonna of Humility1433
Wood, 93 x 60 cm
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena
The impact of Masaccio's new vision had a limited impact on Siena, since for the most part, Siena maintained a distinct stylistic tradition of its own. A Sienese artist who does seem to have been affected by Masaccio, perhaps mediated by the art of Filippo Lippi, is Domenico di Bartolo. His art is exemplified by this signed and dated work of 1433, which contains passages of trompe l'oeil including the banderole with writing on it. The grouping of the figures and the roundness of the faces, particularly the one of the angel who tilts his head sharply, are reminiscent of Filippo Lippi's painting in Empoli.
Like the paintings of Fra Filippo Lippi of apparently the same years, the coherent and rational light of Masaccio is not fully understood, but the massive figures and an interest in robust bodily proportions and in the nude provide a strong link to Masaccio. The motive of the Child sucking his fingers occurs in Masaccio's Pisa Altarpiece.